Joined: 10 Oct 2003
|Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:14 pm Post subject: Las Vegas/California Vacation -- Part Four, Final Thoughts
|Las Vegas (again)/Final Thoughts
July 16 – We were packed and checked out by 8 a.m. because we were heading about 45 minutes southeast to El Cajon to attend Dr. David Jeremiah’s church, Shadow Mountain. We’ve attended several of Dr. Jeremiah’s conferences and Tim listens to him regularly on the radio and uses his study guides so we definitely wanted to attend the church while we were so close. Again, this is a large church so we encountered the multiple parking lots, attendants, and a large campus. This time Keri found the alternative service for teens and decided to go to that one to check out the Praise Band (she is the drummer for our Praise Band in our church). Tim, Erik and I headed for the main worship building and were happy to find out that Dr. Jeremiah was actually going to be there that morning (usually it’s hard to catch him in the summer!). The sanctuary filled up and it was a very uplifting service – a combination of contemporary and traditional music along with Powerpoint presentations for sermon notes, etc.
After the service ended, we headed back north on I-15, stopped in Escondido for gas and lunch and then began the trip back to Las Vegas. It was a VERY hot day and the temps climbed to 124 in the desert. The kids were taking pictures of the car’s thermometer with the cell phones to show their friends back home. Meanwhile, Tim and I were just praying that our rental car had been well-maintained and would handle the ride and the temps. It was about a 5 hour trip and we pulled into the Flamingo valet parking around 5:30 or so, unloaded the car and got checked in quickly.
Everyone was hungry so we headed to Harrah’s Carnival Court for dinner and entertainment while we waited and ate. It was about 118 in Las Vegas that day, so it kind of felt like you were walking around in a furnace so we tried to walk more inside than out. After dinner, Tim and Erik headed out to a few casinos to explore and Keri and I headed over to Caesar’s to explore the new Forum Shops. Then we headed back to the room and both read for a while. When Tim returned, he and I went out to wander around on the strip for a few hours. We ran into Erik once or twice and then headed back to the room. Erik got into another poker tournament later in the evening but by 1 a.m. everyone was back in the room since we were leaving early in the morning to get our flight home.
July 17 – Checked out early (we have stayed at Flamingo 3 times in the past year and every time I have had the same guy check me out – how odd is that considering the number of front desk employees there and the different days and times we were leaving!). Got the rental car dropped off in no time – we love National’s Emerald Aisle for pickup and dropoff – and had no problems going through security. Unfortunately we had C boarding passes for this flight and it was totally full. Fortunately, Keri and I got a seat together and then Tim got a guy to switch aisle seats with him so he sat with us too. Erik was somewhere in a middle seat making new friends! The flight home was an hour longer than usual because we had to take a “detour” down to Texas and then across and then up to Philly to avoid a major storm system in the middle of the country. But I had a book, Keri had Harry Potter and we were both determined to finish our books (I made it to about 20 pages left when we landed and she had about 50). We landed in Philly around 9:00 p.m., shuttled to pick up our car and were soon on the turnpike heading home arriving around midnight.
We all agreed that it was a good vacation. After the sudden death of my BIL at the end of June, we needed to get away and just be together as a family. It was the first time since 2002 that Erik had gone on vacation with us and it was nice to travel with both kids again. The kids and I enjoyed Disney although all three of us prefer WDW since we really like Epcot and missed that part of the experience. All of us loved the San Diego Zoo and felt that was a highlight of the trip. The Lawrence Welk Resort was fabulous and we would stay there again if we ever get out that way again.
California itself was nice – I could live in the San Diego area with no problem. Erik loved it too and is actually looking at grad schools out there as well as in the East. We all decided that LA was not for us – too much traffic, congestion. After making two trips to Las Vegas this year (one business, one pleasure) we’ve decided that we’ve seen enough of Vegas to last us for quite a few years (sorry Cru!).
All in all, it was a very enjoyable vacation and one we’ll all definitely remember. As with all family vacations, it’s not really the places we went or things we saw that necessarily make the memories but just the little things that happen along the way (that were not really mentioned in this trip report) that stick in our minds and remind us of just how much fun we can have as a family. Those are the memories we will share and laugh about for many years together!
Hope you’ve enjoyed this report as much as I have writing it and sharing it with you.